Venice Film Festival’s buzzworthy moments

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Zac Efron
Zac Efron loses the high school cap and gown to trade in for a pair of scrubs in Parkland.

Celebrities, directors, producers, and movie lovers are lining the streets of Venice, Italy to attend the oldest international film festival in the world! Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpi in 1932, the Venice Film Festival takes place every year in late August on the island of Lido, Venice in Italy. The screenings take place in the historic Palazzo del Cinema and in other venues nearby. This year, the Venice Film Festival had shocking surprises, such as the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki, and information on potential Oscar-winning movies like Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, Peter Landesman’s Parkland, and Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves.

Yesterday, we reported that Japanese animation director, Hayao Miyazaki, has chosen to officially retire. Koji Hoshino, the president of Miyazaki’s production studio, Studio Ghibli, made the announcement at the Venice Film Festival after the screening of his new feature-length film The Wind Rises. Hoshino stated that The Wind Rises would be Miyazaki’s final production, and would announce the details of his retirement in a press conference later in the week.

As for live-action movies, the Venice Film Festival opened by premiering the highly anticipated space thriller, Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The 3D film focuses on two astronauts stranded in space after a routine checkup of their equipment goes terribly wrong. In the trailer, the space shuttle is destroyed along with the International Space Station that leaves them without the ability to communicate with Earth. Viewers raved that Gravity will keep your attention with the stunning visuals and its terrifying plot. The movie will hit theatres October 4 on the anniversary of Sputnik, the first satellite launched in space.

Now, we never expected to see Zac Efron in a movie that didn’t involve singing and dancing, but he nails it in Parkland. The movie tells the story of the ordinary individuals, such as doctors and reporters, involved in the aftermath of president John F. Kennedy’s shooting. The movie is named after the Parkland hospital that President Kennedy, his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, and Jack Ruby died in. Efron plays the main doctor that had to act quickly, and treat Kennedy. Initially, the film was set to debut on September 20, but has been pushed back for an October 4 release.

You may remember Dakota Fanning from Twilight and Jesse Eisenberg from Zombieland, but these actors are taking on an entirely different role in Night Moves. In the movie, Eisenberg plays Josh, an intelligent young man who plans to make a bomb with his girlfriend, Dena (Dakota Fanning), to blow up a hydroelectric dam he claims is hurting the forest. Now, the movie may seem like it’s sending you a message to go green, but Director Reichardt has told viewers that it’s up to them whether or not their actions are justified or just plain crazy! Night Moves will premiere September 20!

Okay, so the festivities aren’t over yet. Not only does the Venice Film Festival end on September 7, but the North American equivalent, the Toronto International Film Festival, begins on September 5. We’ll keep you updated on all the flicks that are debuting, getting praise, or getting sent back for being lame!

Featured image courtesy of Joseph Hunkins on Flickr. Zac Efron image courtesy of Zac Efron Facebook. Gravity trailer courtesy of Warner Bros.